Google, a couple of years back had experienced major network outdate which disrupted Snapchat, Spotify, Discord, etc. services. Root cause identified for the same was a software bug along with benign misconfiguration. This led to configuration data loss. It took about four hours to resolve the issue after rebuilding and redistributing lost configuration data. With Cloud Technology gaining popularity these days, 80% network outages are stated to be the result of human error.
Challenges faced with conventional Network Configuration Management
1. Network security threats:
Manual change implementations if filled with errors may cause network related device incompatibilities. Even hackers may get backdoor access to attack networks. Generally, cybercriminals tend to target global computer networks that exhibit technical inadequacy. Without role-based access or configuration change tracking, preventing unauthorized network access is difficult. Certified network engineers can create that perfect balance between protecting business network security and continuity.
2. Human error:
It is undoubtedly the main cause for network outages to occur. For example, not being aware of the device configuration’s correct procedure. An ISP company’s Level 3 employee had misconfigured a simple router back in 2017. This caused distributed denial-of-service attack. Net traffic also got routed in wrong direction due to route leak. Autonomous Systems providing wrong information has caused this issue. Asset Protection is important.
3. Legal issues and compliance violations:
Financial data is generally stored by financial organizations within the enterprise network’s crucial assets. IT architecture is to follow prevailing cybersecurity framework while being conducive towards network security. It becomes necessary to audit and generate regularly report to comply with stringent industry standards and government regulations. Also should be practiced proper Data Management.
4. Lack of centralized control:
It is possible to schedule configuration backup, maintain device configuration versions, track user activity and pinpoint changes. Without centralized network control and IT policy changes, critical security patch application or blocking a port within heterogeneous network can be a difficult task. In case administrators desire to revert to proper working version or last-saved configuration, the job becomes quite demanding.
5. Configuration change loss:
Within the device RAM is present a running configuration. Hence, it is the responsibility of the network admins to ensure network device changes are applied to device startup configuration. Otherwise if device gets turned off, then such changes are likely to be lost. Being mission-critical changes, losses may result in network disasters. This issue can however, be remediated by using the right tools and Data Management to sync startup and run device configuration.
6. Outdated equipment resulting in hardware failures:
There are high chances of network devices malfunctioning if they are used beyond their end-of-life or warranty period. Businesses can get negatively impacted if it becomes difficult to replicate their data on replacement devices. Manual replacement of failed device will be essential if there is lack of repository to enable device configuration backups. Thus Asset Protection becomes vital.
7. Lack of accountability:
Fixing faulty configuration change and ensuring network backup may take several hours. Moreover, without proper user action accountability, things can become worse. Audit trails can help identify accurately when, how, where and who carried out the configuration changes. Besides this, IT managers seek reviews reports periodically on user activities.
8. Troubleshooting while experiencing network outages:
When performing haphazard device configurations and changes, trying to troubleshoot network outages is sure to be a demanding task. Losing tack of changes introduced may only result in high MTTR (mean time-to-repair). Revenue and end users are likely to be impacted directly by network outages. Hence, it becomes necessary to identify the exact changes as well as roll-back errant device configuration.
With proper Network Configuration Management, it becomes possible to ensure error-free, healthy network.